Curriculum Development Overview

  • Guiding Principles

    Curriculum Development guiding principles


    This information serves as a guide to the curriculum development process in District 203. There are four major phases of the curriculum development process: Plan and Research, Curriculum Development, Professional Learning and Curriculum Development, and Implementation. The process is ongoing and cyclical. As with any process, the curriculum development process is flexible and dynamic and should be tailored to meet the needs of the discipline or specific course development and to ensure that students receive a viable and rigorous curriculum.

    Phase I - Plan and Research

    Curriculum Development Process
    During this phase of curriculum development, the planning and research needed to begin curriculum development will occur. The goals of this phase are to gain a deeper understanding of the standards and of best practices in the field and in education and to develop a plan that will ensure timely completion and implementation of the curriculum development process.

    Phase II - Curriculum Development

    This phase is where the substance of the curriculum is written. The work completed in the first phase will inform the writing process so that the written curriculum will be viable and rigorous, aligned to the standards, and articulated EC-12 so that there is a natural and logical progression of skills from one grade level/course to the next to ensure that every student is college and career ready. The goals of this phase are to create a yearlong curriculum map, to investigate potential resources that will support the curriculum, and to determine the professional learning needs of the district community.

    Phase III - Professional Learning and Continued Curriculum Development

    During this phase, the curriculum will be prepared for implementation and professional learning will be provided to the district community. Professional learning will take place to ensure that the written curriculum becomes the taught curriculum. Through professional learning, teachers will have a clear understanding of how to implement the written curriculum, including being able to read the unit maps, translate the unit maps into daily plans, and navigate and implement any new resources and assessments. They should also understand how and when they will be able to give feedback and whom they should seek for support when concerns arise. The goals of this phase are to create core unit maps, design or select common assessments, select resources if needed, provide professional learning, and to develop an evaluation plan for the curriculum.

    Phase IV - Implementation 

    During this phase, the written curriculum will become the taught curriculum. As the curriculum is implemented, evaluation of the curriculum will take place simultaneously as teachers will be able to provide feedback to improve instruction, curriculum, the use of resources and assessments, and any other aspect of learning and teaching as needed. Because the curriculum development process is ongoing and recursive, the goal of this phase is to gather feedback during the implementation phase that will inform future curriculum development and professional learning.